U.S. Supreme Court to Decide if Internal Revenue Code Section 7206 Offenses are a Basis for Deportation

Mar 01, 2011   
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In November of 2010, the taxpayer at issue in Kawashima v. Holder, 615 F.3d 1043 (9th Cir. 2010) (available here), petitioned the Supreme Court for a Writ of Certiorari. The question presented to the Court in that petition was whether Code section 7206, available here, provides a basis for deportation. The Ninth Circuit has reached a different conclusion than the Third Circuit in Ki Se Lee v. Ashcroft, 368 F.3d 218, 224 (3d Cir. 2004) (available here) creating a split among the Circuits.

The law at issue, 8 U.S.C. §1101(a)(43)(M), available here, defines an aggravated felony as

(M) an offense that”

(i) involves fraud or deceit in which the loss to the victim or victims exceeds $10,000; or

(ii) is described in section 7201 of title 26 (relating to tax evasion) in which the revenue loss to the Government exceeds $10,000.

The split between the Circuits is whether an IRC section 7206 violation can be an aggravated felony when IRC section 7201 is exclusively referenced as an aggravated felony within the criminal provisions contained in Title 26 (the Internal Revenue Code). The significance of this issue is that if the Ninth Circuit’s decision is adopted by the Supreme Court, any crime contained in the Internal Revenue Code could in theory be used as a basis for deportation. As a result, any criminal tax offense must be studied for both criminal and immigration consequences.

The attorneys at Fuerst Ittleman, PL have extensive experience litigating criminal tax matters and have experience litigating ineffective assistance of counsel claims after a plea or conviction.